Affordable, Eco-friendly Banners and Yard Signs

Banner Design Tips

  • "Thinking Greener" Banner Images

    In this day and age, it's just cool to be "green". And that's great! Even here at banner4sale, we are always striving towards greener printing methods and materials. But, here's an idea: have you thought of adding some more green to your images?

    Now, I don't mean adding text about recycling or something, but actually adding some trees to your backdrop image. Some bushes. Shrubs. Flowers!

    Pictures of nature can make all the difference in the world, especially in recent ad trends that picture streamlined vehicles, towering glass structures, and sleek new devices. Every once in awhile, it's a breath of fresh air (literally) to see a bit of nature in your advertising.  If you Google search "advertisements" or something equivalent, chances are you won't find many ads with pieces of nature in them, maybe not even on the first page. We've gone "urban" with our advertising, but it doesn't hurt to try something new. Since nature is inherently part of our lives, we do have an emotional connection with it, even if we don't want to admit it.

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    Check out the one above: looks like an eye, right? It's a tree with a sawed-off branch, but the similarity is striking.

    Now, here's ad that's sort of related: it has to deal with water shortage and conservation for the summer months. But in the background is a nice green grass field, instead of a drab grey sidewalk. Kind of gives you a different feel.

    Mmmmm, yummy Watermelon. Not a tree, but same difference. It's not a picture of the farmer's market itself, but of one of the products they care about: the everlasting watermelon! It's green, it's pink, and on a blue background. It definitely leaves the feel of freshness and new beginnings.

  • Advantages of a Smart-Phone Camera

    Smart phones: curse or blessing? Some critics think the latest technology is a nuisance: people walking around and taking pictures of themselves with their iPhones or iPads, the touch phone sharing feature with the Samsung Galaxy S3, spamming Instagram... But the beauty of these devices is not as annoying as it seems. In fact, with the high resolution camera on the newest generations of the iPhone, people are being turned into amateur photographers overnight. Photographers already in the business are capturing stunning images on the smallest devices. Smart Phones are truly the all-in-one device, with the camera being one of the best features. What does this have to do with banners? Well, it has more to do with accessibility of advertising. Inspiration can be found anywhere, and that goes without saying. But now, it's much easier to capture that inspiration with a device that you always have with you already.  One can easily snap a picture, do some small editing on a handheld tablet or the phone itself, and have a digital advertisement for the web in no time. And it can be done all from a park bench (if you have 3G or so). For small time businesses looking for a great sales image, or a big business trying a new phase, this technique is great for marketers and designers. Let's take a look at some startling images taken with just a smart phone:

    Taken

    Taken

    Samsung

    Samsung

    Sony

  • Fantastic Science Fiction Fonts

    There's a plethora of awesome fonts out there in the nether-net. Some are free, some are not. But it's fun to explore different typography for your next banner ad! I love this new age in design, especially in the science fiction realm. We always see those vintage and retro fonts, but rarely do you see something that trends along the lines of science fiction. And what's cool is that people will recognize it as science fiction right away. With vintage, retro, or Western fonts, they can be used for all sorts of events. But with a science fiction font, there's almost no need for unnecessary text. There will be no mistaking your science-related event. Below are some samples of fonts that you've seen in film, television, and literature. It's the few that captured my attention, and are available for download: You can download these fonts and more, HERE. Also, Eaton Conference anyone? Now there's a science fiction convention if I've ever seen one! And what's more, Stan Lee is going to be there! If you've got a hankering for some good science fiction visuals, check it out in April.

  • Sepia Tinted Photography for Banners

    Have you ever had to take one of those embarrassing pictures with Old West sets? Had to dress up in costume with Calamity Jane mom and Wild Bill dad and pose in front of a fake saloon?

    I have. It’s not pretty. Can be fun, but not really.

    WELL. As much as we hate these tourist-y photo ops, we can appreciate the art that it was inspired by: old style sepia tone photography.

    Nowadays, sepia is still long and strong in the making, and is used to create gorgeous faux old-fashioned photography. Remember those fake vintage ads I wrote about a while ago? Same difference! At least, in terms of an advertising technique.

    A while ago, my local bank did a campaign about bank accounts running in the family, passing from parent to child. They would have two images side by side: a father and son in sepia tone going out to surf, and a modern color photo of that previous son, now grown up and taking his own son out to surf. So, you see, many things can be implied with the use of sepia tone, especially if your goal is to leave the viewer with a  sense of nostalgia.

    Or you can do the awesome thing, and create an ad with those old style saloon family photos. That’ll get a good laugh out of your customers.

    Here’s some examples of sepia tinted custom banners as well. Inspiration for your next project, perhaps?

  • Understanding How Banner Proportions Work

    Banner Printing Proportions

    Lets say that I have this really cool design for my moms birthday. It is currently 36 x 12. Now lets say that I wanted to make a 60 x 48 banner. Unfortunately my art will not scale proportionately to that size. If I was to make it 60 inches wide, it would only be 20 inches high, that would leave 20 inches of white space on top and bottom of my artwork. If I was to make it 48 in high, it would then be 144 inches wide and I would lose most of my artwork. If you want to avoid this sort of issue here is a tip: Multiply the current height and width of your banner by the same number that way you know how big it can scale proportionately. In my case I have a original size of 36 x 12, So if I multiply both the height and width by 3 I know that I can get a 96 x 36 banner, that will not have any white space or cut off any of my design. So the next time you are trying to figure out what size banner to order, or starting to design a new banner, make sure you keep the proportions of the artwork and the design in mind.

  • Using Images for Your Banner, Tips on Resolution and Where to Find Photos

    We all know that a high quality image can add a lot to a design in terms of style and depth. However, when designing a banner there are somethings to consider before using just any old image out of your point and shoot or getting a photo off google images. A banner is a much larger canvas then a normal photo would be printed on and most images on the web are optimized to load quickly, which means small image-size and low resolution. If you were to do a google search for images of puppies, chance are most images would not be a high enough resolution to work on a banner. For example the image I have selected is 500x309 pixels, this makes it about 1.75 x 1 inches, which would not work. If that images was at 300dpi, and we scaled it to our minimum 75 dpi it would be 6.5 x 4, which still would not work. Keep in mind that since most images are optimized for the web they will be at 72 dpi. Digital cameras have come a long way since they were first introduced. If you are using your camera on the highest allowable settings then the image might be a high enough resolution to be blown up on a banner. However, chances are your settings are set lower then the maximum so that you can store more photos on your memory card. A good alternative is to look at is buying stock images to use for your banner. Two good placed to start are www.istock.com and www.shutterstock.com. Both of these places allow your to purchase images at a reasonable price, they are easy to use and have tons of photos. If you are having a hard time finding a photo you could also take is to hire a professional photographer to take photos for you. This way you can get the exact pictures you want. Just some things to consider when you are looking for an image for your next banner.

  • Bitmap Vs. Vector ... What's the difference?

    Bitmap Vs. Vector for Banner Design

    I know that sentence sounds like some sort of snappy new video game title or words from some kind goofy moon language, but these are actually two completely different image file types that can make or break your banner. In today's blog post you will learn the difference between the 2 formats, and hopefully gain enough information to assist you in the future when choosing which one to use for printing. Here's the same image at the same size, the one on the left is a Bitmap image, the one on the left is a Vector image. Bitmap v. Vector Both look the same, right? Plus you watch alot of TV! A magical world where any time anybody on any TV show needs a picture blown up, they just mash the keyboard until the computer scales the image perfectly (before creating a rotating 3D wireframe), right!? Wrong! TV is fake, computers can't do that, and Santa doesn't exist. Here's the same 2 logos blown up at 400%... ... The Vector logo on the right looks crisp and clean, whereas the Bitmap image on the left looks kind of sad and pathetic. How did this happen, why does one look clearer than the other, and what's the difference between the 2 formats? I'll tell you. Bitmap images (JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG) are comprised of a series of hundreds of thousands of tiny little colored dots (or pixels, as they're referred to in the nerd community). The quality of a Bitmap image hinges on how many dots fill a square inch, also known as DPI (Dots Per Inch). The higher the DPI, the more dots per square inch, the better the image quality. Bitmap images can generally only be scaled down and still maintain image clarity. The only time they can be enlarged is if the native file has a relatively high DPI, but it comes at a cost. Enlarging the image lowers the DPI during the scaling process, which severely limits the scaling abilities of Bitmap files. After a certain point, a Bitmap image will start to look like a crappy old video game because it will run out of pixels to compensate for the change in size. Vector images (AI, CDR, PDF) are comprised of a series of lines and algorithms that calculate the colors and shapes used in the image and how to scale it properly. This means that you can shrink and expand a vector file to any size you can think of and it will still look the same every time. Vector files allow a Designer or yourself to apply your art more easily to various projects because in addition to having no real size constraints, every little element be it a specific line or color, can be manipulated individually without affecting the image as a whole. Does this mean that one file type is better than the other? It really depends on what kind of project they will be used for. Vector images are ideal for Logos and Artwork that will be applied to various different mediums. A perfect example of this would be a Business that needs to use the same corporate logo for business cards, letter heads, envelopes, advertisements, emails, billboards, and signs. A Vector image would allow them to scale their logo to fit every single one of those uses and while still looking exactly the same every time. A Bitmap image is usually used for photographic quality images. That means if you take an embarrassing photo of your little brother and want to blow it up to a larger size to use for a banner to hang at a social gathering to publicly humiliate him for going into your room when you weren't home (it happens), it's going to have to be a Bitmap image. Just make sure that it's taken at a high DPI because it wont have the same effect if it ends up looking like a blocky flesh colored mess instead of a clear photo of him sucking his thumb in his sleep.

  • Design Tip: Adding depth to your banner designs

    Adding depth to your banner designs will help them to appear more professional and will guarantee that they're a step above the rest. When we think of depth, the first thing that comes to mind is perspective in illustration, but you can also achieve this by paying attention to the way all of your elements fit together.

    Texture

    Adding texture to your banners is one way to make sure the background is more interesting and, at the same time, it helps your main elements to stand out against something other than a plain flat color. You can search for or create your own high resolution textures. When searching for textures, you should make sure that, if they're raster images, they're high enough resolution to fit the size banner that you're creating. Otherwise, the background will look pixelated. Seamless patterns are another way to guarantee your texture spans across the entire size of the banner. Seamless patterns are swatches created in a way that all sides meet up to create a repeating pattern that tiles itself throughout a shape in the same way a color fill would. Whichever you use, it's always best to keep textures subtle. Make sure it falls into a muted color and doesn't take away from the main elements of the banner.

    Gradients

    A simple design can be made to look professional and clean when using gradients. In the same way that textures should be made subtle, a gradient is also best when used sparingly. Subtle gradients are modern, especially when used with a pleasing color palette. Let the colors blend together slowly and over a large span of space.

    Depth of field

    Try using images in the background in a way where they drop out of focus. You can blur the image and put it behind the main elements or pull back the transparency to make the object drop into the background. Another thing to remember is that different colors will cary different visual waits. This means that things like cool, dark colors tend to recede into the background of the design, while warm, bright colors tend to move to the forefront.

  • Banner Basics: Embedding Images and Outlining Fonts

    Outlining & Embedding Here at banner4sale, we do our best to make your experience as quick and easy as possible. Today I am going to address two of the biggest things that hinder and slow this process, embedding images and outlining fonts. If you are placing an image into your file or linking to another file, please make sure to embed everything into the file you are going to upload. This ensures that your linked image or file comes attached to your artwork. Otherwise in most cases a empty box will just display where your image was supposed to be, or it will do its best to display your image, but this usually occurs with a loss of resolution. banner4sale.com font tips The other key thing to do is to outline all fonts when uploading a document with any text. If your text is not outlined and we do not have the fonts on our computers then your font will not be displayed correctly. banner4sale.com embedding artwork tips Both of these things are quick and easy to do before you upload your files and help ensure that you have a wonderful experience with us.

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